I’m still reading Ta-Nehisi Coates and my book is full of highlights I want to re-read, share, and remember forever like these:
“The question is not whether Lincoln truly meant ‘government of the people’ but what our country has, throughout its history, taken the political term ‘people’ to actually mean. In 1863 it did not mean your mother or your grandmother, and it did not mean you and me. Thus America’s problem is not its betrayal of ‘government of the people,’ but the means by which ‘the people’ acquired their names.”
“There is nothing uniquely evil in these destroyers or even in this moment. The destroyers are merely men enforcing the whims of our country, correctly interpreting its heritage and legacy.”
“You must resist the common urge toward the comforting narrative of divine law, toward fairy tales that imply some irrepressible justice. The enslaved were not bricks in your road, and their lives were not chapters in your redemptive history. They were people turned to fuel for the American machine. Enslavement was not destined to end, and it is wrong to claim our present circumstance — no matter how improved — as the redemption for the lives of people who never asked for the posthumous, untouchable glory of dying for their children.”
Between the World and Me is great, sad, an smart all at once. I’m still reading and highly recommend it. I’ll share a lot more on the book later, but I couldn’t resist getting started now, while I’m still reading, learning, absorbing.